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As we waited for the morning announcements to begin, we sat quietly in our seats and worked on our journal entries: What are three things that help to make you feel better when you are sick? Tell how they are comforting to you.
I got a check mark for completing the assignment, and then it was on to adjectives.
But it wasn't long before all the coffee I drank earlier that morning had me squirming in my seat. I raised my hand. "Miss Dial, may I go to the restroom?" I asked.
Thank goodness the second-grade teacher allowed me to go ... not that the short stalls in the elementary school girls' bathroom afford much privacy for a 5-foot, 9-inch adult.
Yep, I spent the entire day Monday as a second-grader at Campbellsville Elementary School. I think the substitute teacher was a little tougher on me than the regular teacher would have been. But there might have been a little payback going on there.
You see, the teacher was my second-grade daughter Madison. She had earned 100 Accelerated Reader points, which allowed her to be teacher for the day. For some reason, Karen Skaggs' second-graders LOVE to be teacher for the day. And there are several who've gotten to do it more than once.
But being the teacher is no day at the park. There are hours of preparation - completing all the assignments for the coming day, preparing questions about a story in the class' reading book and more. Then there were all the papers to grade that night.
But Madison - and apparently all of Mrs. Skaggs' other "teachers" - love it.
And let me tell you, for a little girl who gets in trouble daily for talking when she's not supposed to, Madison was sure tough on the rest of us for doing the same thing.
Caneyah, who sat next to me in row two, drew a nice picture of a butterfly for me. As she handed me the paper and whispered that it was for me to keep, I whispered back, "Thank you." We got busted and were warned not to talk during reading groups.
Later in the morning we went to music class. There, we learned about the elements of dance and the different kinds of force. We also started to learn the Circle Dance. Devont nearly got me in trouble, too, when he took big steps and I took little steps. We bumped into one another more than once, but we righted ourselves before the teacher glanced our way.
As a treat in the afternoon, the "teacher" read us a story and we each got to take an A.R. test. I scored 100, thank goodness, because I was really worried. It's hard to take a test when there are six second-graders looking over your shoulder just waiting for you to mess up.
If I learned nothing else on Monday, it was that I don't have the patience to be a second-grade teacher. From tummy aches and bathroom breaks to tears and temper tantrums, teachers have so much more to deal with than just teaching.
On the good side, however, apparently Madison got my share of patience along with her own.
She wants to be a second-grade teacher when she grows up.